Jim McGreevey

Who

McGreevey is the disgraced ex-governor of New Jersey and an aspiring Episcopalian priest. Yes, he's also a gay American.

Backstory

McGreevey grew up an altar boy in a working-class Irish Catholic family—his father was a Marine drill sergeant—and he initially considered joining the priesthood. He settled on politics instead. After graduating from Georgetown Law and earning a master's at Harvard, he worked as an assistant district attorney in New Jersey and served on the state's parole board, before taking elective office in 1990 as a member of the New Jersey General Assembly. In 1992, he became the mayor of Woodbridge Township, serving simultaneously in the State Senate from 1993. Four years later, he mounted his first run for governor, losing a nail-biter to the incumbent, Christine Todd Whitman. McGreevey fared better the second time around, easily defeating Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler in 2001. He resigned in 2004.

Scandal

Rumors had long circulated among Jersey politicos about McGreevey's sexuality, particularly with regard to his close relationship with Golan Cipel, the Israeli-born aide who earned a series of lucrative appointments in McGreevey's administration despite the fact he lacked relevant experience and rarely showed up to work. After public scrutiny forced Cipel out, he threatened to sue McGreevey for sexual harassment unless he received a $5 million settlement; instead of paying up, McGreevey gave his famous August '04 press conference in which he announced "I am a gay American" and resigned. The Cipel affair wasn't the only embarrassment for McGreevey while in office. In 2004, his biggest campaign contributor, Charles Kushner, was convicted of illegally funneling money to McGreevey's campaign—and it was Kushner who had sponsored Cipel's work visa.

Recently

Since being forced out of politics, McGreevey seems to have reconnected with his earlier ambitions. In May 2007, he announced he'd been accepted into the Episcopal Church's General Theological Seminary in Chelsea and would begin pursuing a Masters of Divinity; the degree will qualify him to become an Episcopal priest. He's also taught a class in "ethics, law and leadership" at Kean University in New Jersey.

In print

McGreevey's embarrassingly forthright memoir The Confession, in which he detailed his experiences with Cipel—"a boastful passionate, whispering, masculine kind of love"—was published in September 2006 by Regan Books. In May 2007, his ex-wife Dina Matos McGreevey published her own book entitled Silent Partner: A Memoir of My Marriage. The competing books came in the midst of a custody battle so acrimonious that the presiding judge had to remind both partners that their daughter would one day read everything they were saying about each other.

Personal

McGreevey has a daughter, Morag, from his first marriage to Kari Schutz. With his second wife, the Portuguese-born Dina Matos, he has a daughter named Jacqueline. Since 2005, he's been in a serious relationship with Australian-born money manager Mark O'Donnell, who now works for McGreevey's former patron, Charles Kushner, as his chief investment officer. The two live in Plainfield, New Jersey, in a house they bought for $1.5 million in June 2006.